Almost three years have passed since the shocking murder of 10-year old Victoria Martens, but the trial for the last remaining suspect isn’t even scheduled.
A trial date for Fabian Gonzales is up in the air, yet trial preparations are still underway.
KRQE News 13 has learned there’s a lot of disagreement between Gonzales’ new attorney and prosecutors.
“We’re trying to find out the truth,” says his attorney Steve Aarons.
Aarons says he’s just trying to nail down the facts of that fateful night in August 2016, and he wants Michelle Martens to tell him.
“We were allowed to interview her for up to 8 hours and it’s just a standard pretrial interview,” he says.
Martens, Gonzales and his cousin, Jessica Kelley, are the main suspects in the 10-year-old’s death.
To date, Kelley has pleaded no contest and faces up to 50-years in jail. Martens took a plea deal to spend at least 12-years in jail.
However, neither will be sentenced until Gonzales’ case is resolved.
“Most people think early fall at the earliest, and it could be even into the winter or the new year before we try this case,” says Aarons.
So far, a trial date has not been set and that’s because, Judge Charles Brown ruled in favor of the defense to keep his drug history out of evidence at trial.
The DA’s Office appealed the decision.
“Who had used what drugs in the weeks past doesn’t really matter as much as whether or not there really was a man or not a man,” says Aarons.
As the case sits in limbo waiting on the higher court to rule, tensions are running high at District Court.
“We got into a bit of an argument with the DAs,” he says.
Aarons says he recently stormed out of an interview with Michelle Martens after a disagreement with prosecutors over his line of questioning.
Aarons wants to finish that interview with Martens, but now the DA’s Office is claiming he gave up his chance when he stormed out.
A judge will have the final say.
There’s no definitive date for when the appeals court could rule on excluding Gonzales’ drug history at trial, but Aarons says he’s hopeful it will happen by June.
Meanwhile, there’s still an alleged unidentified fourth person involved in this case. The District Attorney’s Office tells KRQE News 13 there are no updates on that.